A Bottle of Real cider – could it be your next choice to pair with your dinner!

We want to be part of incorporating the craft ciders into food and drinking culture in Finland. Finnish real ciders are best appreciated when paired with the right kind of foods. Real ciders should take the centre stage, not just on the side of the craft beer shelf.

“Cider culture in Finland should be updated – food and occasion should be the key when choosing the best suitable cider. Just like wines.”
Emmi Brownie / Lepola

Cider is strong part of drinking culture in many countries in Europe. Cider is part of everyday life just like wine and beer. We would love it to be like this also in Finland. Real cider is an easy choice for those who appreciate for instance local and Finnish produce in their drink. Apple cider can be produced with 100% Finnish ingredients. Low alcohol cider is also a great choice for even longer evenings.


The definition of cider is clear for us: 100% apple juice, spices and flavours from real berries and fruit. No concentrates, no artificial aromas, no added water. Cider is produced from real apples (or Perry from pears), that are picked and pressed into juice. The complex aromas of the apples are stored and recognizable in the final product. Cider is fermented with yeast, spontaneously with wild yeast or by adding specific yeasts for certain characteristics.

We don’t see products as cider that contain mostly water, apple juice concentrate, fruit wine, artificial aromas, or other stuff you can often find in the ingredient list. This product category has found its place in the shops and restaurants, and the existence is totally understandable. These drinks just shouldn’t be called cider.


Cider is an easy choice for many dishes. Here are a couple of tips for pairing Lepola ciders with food!

Lepola Real is dry and fresh apple cider with crisp acidity. Real pairs great with traditional Finnish creamy salmon soup. Cider’s acidity balances the creaminess of the soup just right.

Medium DryLepola Medium Dry is a spot on choice with spicy burger. The acidity in the cider works well with the fullness of the burger. Little sweetness balances well with spiciness.

Lepola Cherry Apple Cider can be enjoyed with grilled lamb chops and vegetable risotto (or just with the risotto too). Cherry cider has a nice slightly bitter aftertaste and a moderate sweetness that emphasize nicely the smokey lamb. The cheesy creaminess of the risotto and the acidity of the cider are a good match, even without the lamb.

Pro tip! Enjoy real cider without ice. This brings the aromas of the cider out the best. Ice thins the taste and makes the cider often too cold.


P.S. Now is a perfect time to make your own homemade cider. Check out the instructions from here (site in Finnish, so use translator 😊): https://www.aitosiideri.fi/valmistaminen/ https://www.aitosiideri.fi/valmistaminen/

Mead - the Ancient Drink of the Vikings


What has Mead, Honey wine to do with Lepola and cider? For us it has been clear from the beginning that we would like to use as many pure natural ingredients as possible in our products. We have been developing for quite some time these products that are our tribute to the nature and it’s beauty of offering us these incredible ingredients. We have launched our range of Meads – the ancient drink of the Vikings! We are so excited about this and to be able launch such a natural selection of products.

Mead – probably the oldest alcoholic drink

It is honey wine, so basically fermented honey and water, sometimes also for example with fruit or berry juice. The bees are tirelessly searching for nectar from thousands of blossoms that creates the honey in each bottle of mead. The flavours are created from the honey that has been used, but also the fermentation and aging the products are important part of the characteristics in the final product. The honey for our products comes from the local beekeepers’ bees. Some of our own honey has also been used in the products.



Lepola mead selection

When we started to develop the mead products it was springtime. The bees and the nature were waking up after the long Finnish winter. Garden’s blossom was on its best, and the bees were actively looking for nectar from the swamps in Lapland. The idea was clear for the new products! Cloudberry will be starring our mead with honey. After this was decided and fermentation on the way, we started to think we would love to have something lighter, bubbly and fresh to be enjoyed on hot summer day. We wanted to pick a berry because that’s what Finland is full of. We didn’t feel like blueberries, lingonberries, or cranberries, we wanted something more unused berry – we chose gooseberry! Tangy but sweet berry that can be found in most Finnish gardens.

Pairing the meads with food

Meads can be enjoyed similar way than grape wines. Pair medium dry fruit based mead with spicy foods, cheese platter, pastas, light meats, fresh salads, or with cocktail snacks. Sweeter meads go well with desserts. Lepola Meads, cloudberry and bubbly gooseberry, are medium dry. The Lepola meads should be served cellar temperature from a white wine glass.

Mead types

Melomel is mead made with fruit or berry juices.

Pyment is mead made specifically with grape juice.

Cyser is mead made specifically with apple juice.

Metheglin is mead made with herbs or spices or both.

Hippocras: is pyment (mead with grape juice) made with herbs and/or spices.

Braggot: is a honey-ale beverage made by fermenting honey and grains together.

Mead making in a nutshell

The process starts with looking after the bees. Once the honey is ready and collected from the hives we add the water to honey, this mixture is called “must”. In this stage any flavouring can be added, for example cinnamon, berry juice etc. After the must is mixed we have added the yeast and transferred the whole lot into fermentation tanks. Fermenting can take anything between two to four weeks. After the fermentation is finished the mead is racked and removed from the yeast and transferred into aging vessels. While aging more complex characteristics are formed into the products. After 3-6 (or more) months of aging the mead is ready to be bottled! The longer the mead is aged the more improved the flavours are. The meads can be stored even up to 20 year in cellar temperature.


People behind Lepola

It’s always the people that make the company and the products. Lepola is not any different from the others in this case. Our team Emmi and Aaron, are an enthusiastic couple, who love food, good quality drinks, and have a very high appreciation for nature.

Aaron is our cider guy who is responsible for making the products. This hard working Aussie has passion for the things he gets involved in. In cider making this means craftsmanship, treating the raw material with respect and, bringing the best characters into the final products. Whenever Aaron gets some free time he will jump on his mountain bike and explore the tracks of the neighbouring Teijo national park.

Funny Aaron fact - he hates to bite an apple and can’t really eat an apple as an apple, maybe this is one of the reasons he has ended up crafting the apples into cider.

The other half of Lepola is Emmi aka Mrs. Lepola, who is responsible for the sales and marketing side of the products. Or as Aaron says to Emmi: “If I’m the head of crafting our ciders, you are the neck controlling where the head goes.”. Emmi loves the union of good food and drink, and has a background from both worlds. Pairing the carefully made ciders with the right foods is one of her interests. Doing this the product can be taken into a new level and enjoyed with the appreciation it deserves. Emmi has had love for horses for her whole life and is always up for a ride in the forest or a cuddle time with furry friends.

Emmi’s cider tip: medium dry apple cider is a perfect companion with soft and creamy cheese. Choose camembert, goat cheese, or brie to go with your cider. Pork and apple cider are also classic couple that go hand in hand. Try to match cider this coming Christmas with the ham.

Our values brought into Lepola products

Aaron and Emmi share common values in life, these are sustainability, respect for nature and others, and support for the local community. These values reflect in everything we do, and we want these values also to be connected to Lepola and our products.

Cider Lepola style

We have a blog! Welcome to join us, the life of Lepola cider. How was Lepola created? How do we want to change the perception about cider? Why is this important to us? In our blog we will get a bit deeper into cider making and our philosophy.

What is Lepola?

Lepola is handcrafted cider, fresh soft drinks, traditional with a twist. Our ciders are handcrafted from fresh pressed local apple juice. Never from concentrate, never using artificial aromas, never from fruitwine, and never water added. We want to craft the fresh and crisp Finnish apples into cider that has fruity, wine-like characteristics.

Lepola is also our home. Our small farm is located in Perniö, Western Finland. Our production facilities are located only 200 metres from our front door. On our farm we do all the production from pressing to bottling.

Lepola’s number one priority is locality. Finnish ingredients and the liveliness of the Finnish countryside are our main principles. By using Finnish raw materials in our products we are showing respect to every Finnish farmer.


Another important factor for us is taste. In our way of thinking taste beats the methods. We are not fixed on one particular way of making cider if it doesn’t make a good end product. The most important ingredients in our cider is, of course, the apples. We want the apple taste to be real. We are not afraid to test new flavour variations either, and we are continuously searching new flavours to make a perfect match with the crisp Finnish apples.

The characteristics of our ciders are smooth, wine-like flavours with fresh green apple finish. We are eager to make our products to tickle the taste buds on a hot summer day, after sauna on the laituri*, or as a toast on a celebration day.

Our aim is to create a culture where cider can be seen as excellent companion with food. Medium dry, bubbly cider is a great choice for example with Asian flavours or a barbecue.


Hopefully! We have noticed the development in this direction. Good ciders are appreciated and people are interested in them. Now it’s time for cider makers to offer people the possibility to experience how the cider should really taste like.

Let’s craft it! -Emmi & Aaron

*Finland is full of lakes and summer cottages, and every lake cottage has a jetty – “laituri”.